The Queen’s Vineyard
On the slopes of the Turin hills where the grass meets the City, behind the Gran Madre di Dio Church, a benevolent and austere mirage meets the eye of the observer: it is the Savoyard and secluded elegance of the seventeenth-century Villa della Regina, from 1997 UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Defined as a real scenographic backdrop for the show in Turin, Villa della Regina hosts Vigna della Regina, the only urban vineyard in Italy to produce a DOC certified cru wine.
Wanted and designed by Prince Maurice of Savoy at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the vineyard was created as an integral agricultural and recreational part of the residence. Then donated in 1867 by the Savoy to the National Institute for the Daughters of the Italian Soldiers, with the closure of the latter, the side destined to the vineyard was progressively invaded by weeds which led to its disappearance from the city landscape. Furthermore, hit by the Allied bombing during the Second World War, the Villa experienced a long time of decay which led to its almost complete collapse.
The complex intervention of environmental recovery and replanting, carried out between 2003 and 2006 by the Superintendency for Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage of Piedmont, rescued the entire area, leading to the replanting of about half of the historic vineyard, together with the complete recovery of the state property complex and, in particular, the restoration of the Royal Apartments and the Italian Gardens, undertaken since 1994.
The laborious operation of replanting the Royal Vineyard of Turin was immediately entrusted to the Balbiano Winery, which took care of every aspect. A total of 2700 re-planted cuttings, mostly from Freisa, spread over a total area of almost one hectare. The results of the first harvests were immediately extraordinary, so much so that in 2011 the vineyard of Villa della Regina was reintroduced within the DOC area of Freisa di Chieri, thus making it able to produce the first Freisa di Chieri DOC “Vigna Villa della Regina”.
A remarkable wine, thanks to the perfectly southern exposure and the very rich and surprisingly healthy terroir from an environmental point of view: in fact, city pollution does not affect the vineyard, raised above the urban area and away from the road, and the hives located right there. behind the Villa they confirm this, as bees live where the air is good.